Lativan trade unions promise protests

  • 2008-08-28
  • In cooperation with BNS
RIGA - The Free Trade Union of Latvia (LBAS) has demanded that thegovernment compensate workers for the country's high inflation rate andthreatened large scale protests if their demands are not met.

LBAS submitted a document to the government on Thursday thatinvited officials to talks on the issue.

"If we are not heard, talks will continue in the parliamentwith a real support from people on the streets to make them understand thatthese are not just whims of a union leader," LBAS Chairman Peteris Krigeristold the Baltic News Service.

The organization said that following an economic hardlanding similar to the one Latviais experiencing, it is the government's duty to compensate residents for lossesincurred from high inflation.

The LBAS head said that the government has so far failed totake any concrete actions to tackle the problem.

The trade unions' long term demands include a gradual reduction of personalincome tax to 15 percent, setting a 5 percent VAT rate on basic goods and raisingthe VAT on luxury goods and services.

Last fall, Latvian trade unions actively protested against the government'sfailure to hear their demands and proposals for the new government budget, andcollected signatures to hold a referendum on voters' rights to dissolveparliament.